Throwing around ideas and concepts is usually something done and dusted long before the unveiling of an exhibition, however, The Atrium wanted to keep people thinking. Last Friday night at Object Gallery was the launch an interactive and collaborative exhibition which aimed not only to present to the audience, but to engage and involve them and gather their perspectives and their passions.
The Atrium featured seven local Sydney artists and was held in conjunction with Idea Bombing Sydney a group who aim to make Sydney more creative and sustainable through encouraging open dialogues and the exchange of ideas.
When walking into the gallery space, Tracey Deep’s Floating Garden sculpture immediately captured my attention, made up of several suspended ferns hanging from the centre of the room. The work brought a flourish of life to the space and added a natural and organic element to the exhibition.
On the back wall hung a huge interactive fabric artwork titled The City by Cecilia Humphrey, a visual representation of the artists’ ideal community in which she suggested such initiatives as “free health checks” and “carless roads". The artwork invited gallery visitors to write their own suggestion for a perfect city on a piece of card and pin it onto the sheet, creating a visual tapestry of creativity.
The second interactive installation came in the form of two chair-shaped chalkboards on which people were encouraged to share their ideas and inspirations. The room acted as a collective brainstorm, allowing people to discuss and to network and then share their ideas by physically writing them down.
People began streaming in from 6pm onwards and first hovered around just observing, but as the room became crowded and everyone finished a glass of cake wine, their confidence to idea bomb appeared. People began happily scrawling on the chalkboards and pinning to the banner, some ideas were practical, “Flexibility at Work!” some quirky, “Cat Cafes for the Lost” and some just plain silly “Kill Yuppies". Though I must say my personal favourite was - “Make it socially acceptable to ask someone’s name more than once.”
In the corners of the room were artworks by street artist Will Coles, I have seen several of his sculptures scattered around Sydney, usually on sidewalks or in parks. This is the first time I have viewed his work in a gallery setting, and when presented on polished floorboards they conveyed a very different and less confronting tone, allowing me to gain a fresh perspective on his work.
Upstairs in the gallery there was a cozy hallway lined with artworks by Genevieve Bessell-Browne, Taylor Conacher, Jumboist, Stu Freeman, Gabby Malpas, Greg Paton and Yeliz Yorulmaz. I ran into a woman at the top of the stairs excitedly snapping photos of one of Conacher’s works which she had just purchased, wishing she could take it home immediately!
The Atrium was a very exciting launch, the room was buzzing with laughter and discussion, people were networking and sharing ideas and all this just on the opening night! Idea Bombing Sydney have a lot more planned over the coming weeks. You’re welcome to swing by the gallery yourself and contribute your own ideas! The exhibition will run until the 23rd August at Object Gallery, 417 Bourke Street, Surry Hills, open between 11am and 5pm Wednesday-Saturday. Can’t wait for you to inspire us!
Written by Sarah Lord
Photographs by Sarah Lord